An amazing but little-known fact for most people is that until about 6,500 years ago, the area of the southern North Sea was actually dry land. It was inhabited by hunter-gatherers, who roamed across the area stretching from Yorkshire to Denmark.
Global warming, the end of the Ice Age, and rising sea levels meant that this landscape was swallowed by the North Sea over time, and lost to knowledge….until the Doggerland project.
Using data collected by the oil industry, the team set out to map this lost landscape. The results have been stupendous, with over 23,000 square kilometres surveyed. That’s an entirely new prehistoric country, complete with rivers, hills, lakes, and marshes, as well as models of where the Mesolithic hunter-gatherers may have lived.
The Doggerland project is one of the most important and largest projects of its kind in the world, and has a special significance for Flag Fen.
The Flag Fen basin would have been the high-water mark for the North Sea in the Mesolithic, and it’s not hard to imagine the hunter-gatherers coming to settle not far away in their journey away from rising waters. The building of the causeway and platform at Flag Fen was a response to the eventual inundation of this landscape – and thus, the settlers would have had to move on again, in search of dry land.
We’re thrilled that Vince stopped by Flag Fen this summer to share his work at Doggerland with our Venturers in person. Enjoy!
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